VMI cadet marches 18 hours to help bring awareness to military suicide

Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:23 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ) - VMI cadet Alex Wichser’s interest in the military started with his grandfather.

“My grandfather was in the Navy, so he was actually the motivator behind me going to the military, coming to VMI.”

As graduation approached, Wichser wanted to bring awareness to an important issue, the 18 active duty military and veterans who take their lives each day.

”I just wanted to do something special, meaningful to me before I graduated, and so when I was looking for what to motivate me throughout this event, service member suicide was the first one to come to mind.”

Wichser put on his pack and strapped up his boots for an 18-hour ruck march around post. He partnered with Operation Enduring Warrior for the event. Fellow cadets and an OEW representative helped bring motivation and conversation to the journey.

“For them to just be this motivated, to help us get the word out and be selfless servants in their communities, in the military, that’s part of the VMI spirit that we’ve come to know,” said Brian Ugalde, with OEW.

Though the march is over, the work doesn’t stop here. Wichser hopes his march can continue to shine a spotlight on the importance of supporting active duty military and veterans in all ways possible.

For more information on Wichser and to donate to the cause, you can find his event page here.

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